Supporting Business to Reach Net Zero
Green innovation is about change now, for a better tomorrow.
The transition to Net Zero presents businesses with opportunities to grow, by meeting government requirements and by satisfying fast-growing global demand for environmental products and services.
Chambers of Commerce are leading the way. Our Network is developing green innovation accelerators and supply chains, providing training and support on Net Zero to drive our economy.
GREEN INNOVATION HUB
Now is the time for business across the UK and around the world to develop a clear action plan and help reach net zero by 2050.
Our UK research shows that, fewer than one in 10 SMEs (8%) fully understand what the Net Zero target means for them. Despite this most SMEs (79%) are taking action to reduce their carbon footprint and increase their efficiency. However, there is a huge divide on progress between smaller businesses, operating on tight margins, and larger SMEs with more resources.
The BCC’s annual Net Zero Survey will be conducted in Q4 2023. This will examine business, and specifically SME attitudes, towards the net zero debate, what actions they are taking, and what support they need.
The 28th UN Climate Change Conference, takes place in the United Arab Emirates from 30 November – 12 December 2023.
This is a key date for the international community to come together and set out how to meet the Climate Challenge as a planet.
The Chamber Network will be actively taking part in COP28 events and initiatives.
The Chambers of Commerce Network across the world has a huge reach with 53 UK Chambers and over 75 international Chambers of Commerce.
The Chamber Network plays an important role in supporting businesses on their journey to net zero, helping SMEs to understand what it means for them and how to comply as well as highlighting best practice.
Learn about the inspiring green initiatives that are happening across our Chamber Network.
Our Chamber Business Awards is one of the showpiece events in the business calendar, recognising and promoting the best of British business.
The Planet Saver – Green Business of the Year is awarded to an organisation with sustainability at the heart of their business. They are fully committed to sustainable best practice and making the world a better and safer place.
Find out more here.
The Power of Partnership
Unlocking business action on Net Zero
In the Autumn of 2022, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) – the UK’s statutory independent advisor on climate change – convened an ‘Advisory Group on Business’ (AGB), comprised of senior leaders from a range of sectors, regions and experience across the UK. The group was set up to provide solutions from the business community to keep the UK’s Net Zero commitment on track. In June 2023, the group, chaired by Shevaun Haviland Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, sent a report to the CCC for consideration. It will now consider the findings before making its final recommendations to UK government.
Climate Call to Action
Research Report with Lloyds
We live in an era where everyone is now aware of the increasing impact of climate change. In partnership with Lloyds Bank, we have launched a new report which explores the key changes which are needed to help business hit Net Zero. The recommendations are the result of a six-month deep dive into the reasons holding firms back from reaching Net Zero. In the midst of a cost of doing business crisis, firms are reluctant to sink their money into Net Zero technologies and energy efficiencies when the commercial pay-off appears uncertain. Yet if we get this right then it will be a huge opportunity for UK Plc. This report sets out how we can achieve that.
Green Tips For Your Business
From banning single-use plastic in the office to investing in renewable assets there are lots of ways to improve your business’s green credentials.
BCC and Lloyds Bank have put together some practical top tips for businesses across a range of areas.
More than a third (34%) of businesses surveyed are investing in greener vehicles .
Did you know? You could save up to £904 a year on fuel by switching to an Electric Vehicle (source).
- Review your fleet of company vehicles and journeys made to check you’re using the right vehicle technology and fuel for the job.
- Check you’re using the most efficient routes and correct -sized vehicles for the volume of cargo in deliveries.
- Create a Green Travel Policy to share guidance on how people can make any trips more sustainable, this can include advice on the best modes of transport to use, approved hotels and tips to help people reduce waste on their journeys.
- Reduce unnecessary mileage by monitoring business travel and considering where journeys aren’t necessary (particularly if meetings can take place online).
- Review the couriers you use and look for more sustainable options.
Just under a third (30%) of businesses surveyed are using solar panels and over a quarter (28%) use renewable energy providers or tariffs.
Did you know? In a 120 sq ft office, swapping out 20-60 watt lights for LEDS could result in cost savings of around £240 a year and emissions savings of 1,039.64kg (source).
- Label the switches of operating machinery so staff know what they can turn off when not in use.
- Encourage staff to turn their computers off at night rather than leaving them on standby. Laptops are typically more energy efficient than desktops, but people are more likely to leave them on constantly.
- Invest in lighting controls, sensor switches and dimmable fittings, and upgrade your premises to LED lights
- Invest in a smart meter or upgrading to smart thermostats that you can programme remotely to turn on at specific times and locations.
- Consider investing in renewable assets such as solar panels or air source heat pumps.
Green Buildings Tool from Lloyds Bank, an interactive digital tool that can help you identify energy-efficient investments in your buildings.
Many financial institutions offer incentives when borrowing money to install renewable assets like solar panels, including Lloyds Bank who offer the Clean Growth Financing Initiative.
Almost half (46%) of firms surveyed are using recycling and waste reduction practices.
Did you know? Experts suggest that between 20% and 25% of packaging-related expenses can be saved if companies ditch oversized packaging (source).
- Label each waste, recycling and compost bin clearly, with samples of items to show which bin they should be put into.
- Assess your suppliers and make sure you’re working with companies who can help you identify ways to reduce packaging and waste. Consider bulk buying or choosing products with a longer lifespan that need replacing less frequently.
- Set printers to print on both sides of the paper as a default and switch to draft quality where possible. Monitor printing behaviour and set targets for reduction.
- Use e-signatures and digital documents instead of printed forms to save on paper and printing costs.
- Ban single-use plastic in the office and consider issuing all staff with a reusable water bottle or coffee cup.
One in six (16%) SMEs have or are planning to adopt a green supply chain policy.
Did you know? As a result of ESG initiatives, supply chain directors report seeing a 31% increase in efficiency and productivity, a 32% increase in customer loyalty, and a 37% increase in employee quality of life (source).
- Make contact with your suppliers on sustainability; benefits of doing so can include reducing reputational risk through greater transparency, and cost and emissions savings through increased collaboration in areas like packaging and transport.
- Ways to encourage engagement between you and your suppliers could include regular meetings – virtual or face-to-face – for sharing experiences and best practice.
- You could also introduce supplier score cards which can be completed annually to help identify which suppliers are meeting your sustainability requirements and, particularly with critical suppliers, can also be used as a starting point for discussions.
Three out of five (61%) SMEs are yet to take any action towards becoming Net Zero.
Did you know? On average, businesses with 100 employees could save 53 tonnes of CO2, £261,000 on energy, property, and travel costs, and 8520 hours on commuting and business travel per year by having employees work from home two days a week (source)
- An easy way to start your Net Zero journey is to complete an audit, like Lloyds Bank’s Clean Growth Audit which provides step-by-step instructions for conducting your own sustainability audit, covering energy, waste and recycling, transport, water and more.
- Small changes can make a big difference; you can start with changing to LED lighting, switching to a renewable energy tariff, or reviewing flexible working policies.
- Scope 3 emissions, indirect emissions that occur as part of your value chain, can be harder to assess, but as they typically make up the bulk of your business’ carbon footprint, it’s important to give consideration to them when making your Net Zero plan.
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